Understanding Your Gear Shifts and Symbols
Do you ever find yourself confused when trying to change gears while driving? You may not understand what the symbols on your gear shift lever mean. Gear shifts come with a variety of symbols, letters, and numbers to represent each gear. Here is a simple guide to understanding your gear shifts and the symbols that come with them.
A Guide to Gear Shift Symbols
- P: Parking. It is recommended to park your car in gear P when stopped.
- R: Reverse. This gear is used when reversing the car.
- N: Neutral. Neutral is intended for moving to a stop position or when parking.
- D: Drive. This gear is used when the car is in motion for normal speeds.
- S: Sport mode. This mode is available in cars with automatic transmission. It is used for allowing shift points to occur at higher rpms for better performance while driving.
Tips for Choosing the Right Gear
- When parked, put the car in Park (P) mode.
- When taking off from a stop, put the car in Drive (D) mode.
- When backing up, use Reverse (R) mode.
- When slowing down, shift to Neutral (N) mode.
- To take advantage of sport performance, shift to Sport (S) mode.
The symbols on your gear shift lever will usually match the colors of your car dashboard, so they should be easy to recognize. However, if you ever find yourself unsure of what each symbol represents, feel free to reference a quick guide such as this one. You can also check your car’s owner’s manual for more information.